Hard objects including screws allegedly found in Quaker oatmeal packet; AVA looking into case

The screws and a shard of what was suspected to be ceramic, which were said to have been found inside a packet of Quaker oatmeal. PHOTOS: KOH SENG MENG

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is looking into claims by a man that inedible objects, including screws, were found in a packet of Quaker oatmeal.

When The Straits Times contacted Quaker oatmeal's distributor Walson Food Distributor on Monday (Oct 8), a spokesman said that it was not aware of the incident and that it would be investigating the matter.

"We will be checking with our suppliers to ensure the product is safe to consume. If not, we will do a recall," he said.

A Quaker Singapore spokesman said that product quality and safety are of utmost importance to the company, adding that various methods, including metal detectors, magnets and screens are used to detect and prevent the presence of foreign objects in its products.

"We apply stringent production and quality assurance processes throughout our manufacturing plants all over the world. Great care is taken to keep any foreign object out of our products," he said.

"We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation and examination of the product, packaging and the foreign object the consumer reported finding."

The man who found the objects in the oatmeal, Mr Koh Seng Meng, told The Straits Times that he was having his usual oatmeal breakfast last week when he bit into something hard.

Removing the object from his mouth, the 69-year-old part-time maintenance man realised he had bitten into a metal screw.

A few days later, Mr Koh said he found a white, hard object he suspected to be ceramic in his oatmeal. Since the oatmeal for these two incidents came from the same packet, he decided to check the packet on Sunday morning but said he found yet another screw inside.

"Those who eat oatmeal are usually old people, it can be quite dangerous for them if there are such things inside," Mr Koh said, adding that he was fortunate not to have swallowed any of the three objects.

He said that the AVA and a representative from Quaker would visit him to investigate the matter further on Tuesday.

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